Wings: Spitfire by Tom Palmer

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Wings: Spitfire by Tom Palmer

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Category: Dyslexia Friendly
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Alex Mitchell
Reviewed by Alex Mitchell
Summary: A succinct but well-written and engaging story, reminiscent of The Great Escape.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Maybe
Pages: 128 Date: June 2016
Publisher: Barrington Stoke Ltd
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1781125366

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Greg is fed up with playing in goal. He reckons things only happen to you there. The other players get to make them happen. The summer school isn't turning out how he'd hoped at all. The old airfield next to the school freaks Greg out … but when he starts on a model of an old Spitfire, he's propelled into an adventure that will really show him what it means to take control …

This book is part of Barrington Stokes's line of books specifically for dyslexic readers. The font is designed to pull the eye on and the thick, matte paper to reduce glare, which can be off-putting to dyslexic readers. The book is has a reading age of eight, but the audience interest is around nine and above, which would not only help dyslexic readers, but also older readers who are struggling. Even as a non-dyslexic person, I found it very easy to read.

Even though the story is quite short, and the writing style succinct, Tom Palmer is very good at capturing the emotion and action of either escaping a German prison camp or being on a football pitch. He perfectly recreates feelings of anger, happiness or tension, in so few words, and manages to keep the reader engaged.

The protagonist of the story is Greg, the son of two Polish immigrants who is staying at a football summer school. He's your average teenager; when he's not playing football he's playing on his phone, much to the annoyance of Hafeez, his coach. However, he shows great determination and willpower over the course of the story, making him into a more admirable character as a result.

The story is framed around Greg's transportation back to 1940, where he is subsequently captured and taken to Stalag Luft VC. The target audience probably hasn't seen classic war films like The Great Escape, and this book may offer a different perspective on these kinds of old adventure stories. Since it is seen through the eyes of a twelve-year old boy from the modern era, it makes the story that bit more enticing.

Overall, this is a very entertaining and well-written story, offering a new perspective on classic adventure stories.

Further reading: Over the Line: a book by the same author, with similar wartime themes.

Sam's Spitfire Summer by Ian MacDonald and Charlie Clough: another Battle-of-Britain story for dyslexic readers.

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Buy Wings: Spitfire by Tom Palmer at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Wings: Spitfire by Tom Palmer at


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